Utilizing a social ecological model, which explicated individual behaviors in the interaction with various multilayered (i.e., macro, meso, and micro) social and cultural factors, the current study investigated the holistic model of how national cultures (i.e., macro-culture) and family communication patterns (FCP) (i.e., meso-culture) affect social support seeking behaviors between the Japanese and United States (U.S.) Americans. A questionnaire survey was administered to 252 Japanese university students and 262 U.S. American university students. The results denote that: a) the impact of national cultures was fully mediated by FCP concerning social support seeking; the Japanese were less likely to seek social support than U.S. Americans, and FCP (i.e., both conversation and conformity orientations) was a positive predictor of social support seeking, b) FCP was a positive predictor of social support seeking regardless of the support received from parents, friends, and outgroup members. Therefore, the current study explained the multilayered effects of national and familial cultures on individuals’ social support seeking processes. This research might infer that family communication patterns were transferable to those seeking social support in other interpersonal interactions. Hence, the derived results may directly facilitate the comprehensibility of a social ecological model to explain and predict interpersonal behavior across cultures from macro- (i.e., national culture) and meso-levels (i.e., familial culture) and the applicability on various interpersonal communication behaviors.
This study aims at developing instrumental-consummatory communication scales and testing their validity and reliability by examining higher-order factor structures. Twenty-six items were composed in accordance with the definition offered by Festinger (1950) and related discussions. Through maximum likelihood exploratory factor analyses with promax rotation, after deleting five items that did not satisfy our content validity criteria, 21 items converged into 16 item with four factors, i.e., efficiency-clarity (4 items, α=.82), harmonic influence (3 items, α=.82), thoughts organizing (5 items, α=.88), and catharsis (4 items, α=.84) factors. The first two are considered to be sub-factors of instrumental communication and the latter two are thought to be sub-factors of consummatory communication. A series of confirmatory factor analyses and likelihood ratio tests across nest models showed that the fit of the higher-order solution did not significantly deviate from the first-order solution. Based on the fact that one less freely estimated parameter of the second-order model appropriately accounted for the six correlations among factors of the first-order model, it is concluded that the second-order factor model is more appropriate than the first-order model. In addition to the factorial validity of these scales, convergent and discriminant validity tested with related psychological scales and criterion-related validity hypothesized with gender differences in instrumental/consummatory communication were mostly confirmed.